Zero Waste Scotland

Construction materials research survey from Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland is conducting new research into the scale of construction materials reuse and reclamation services in Scotland.

Scotland’s construction sector is the country’s biggest waste producer, sending a staggering four million tonnes of waste to landfill each year.

And when you consider that the true cost of each tonne of waste is in excess of £1,300 – it doesn’t just have a negative environmental impact, it also comes with a big economic price tag.

The good news is, lots of work is being done to identify solutions and improve performance in the sector. Creating conditions where valuable resources are easily and systematically reclaimed for re-use is one solution – and Zero Waste Scotland is leading work in this important area.

Right now, the organisation is conducting research to assess the current provision of reclamation services to the construction sector in Scotland – from scrap merchants with occasional construction materials on their hands, to businesses offering formal architectural and site salvage services.

The survey will help shape the support provided to this market in the near future, so views are extremely valuable.

The survey takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Closing date for taking part is midday on Wednesday, 21 March.

If you provide reclamation services to the construction sector, please take part here.

Glasgow takes steps to ‘future-proof’ city’s SMEs

Circular Glasgow Press Release Nov 16A recruitment campaign designed to facilitate 50 Glasgow-based businesses to prepare for the future has been launched today by Circular Glasgow.

Hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Circular Glasgow will connect with companies across a number of sectors, including construction, helping them to open up new revenue streams, increase competitive advantage and realise financial savings using a range of practical tools.

The team aims to complete 50 Circle Assessments by the end of 2018 using an online tool created by Circle Economy, global market leaders based in the Netherland’s. The initiative will look at different ways businesses can innovate and incorporate new design and technology, thinking through the adoption of new business models, including circular economy strategies.

A circular economy is one in which every product is created with the intent of extending its life span – a direct challenge to the ‘take, make, dispose’ mentality.

Alison McRae, senior director of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be at the implementation stage of Circular Glasgow where we can start to get more businesses across the city involved to help them innovate and future-proof their business.

“Glasgow’s ambition is to position itself as a leading circular city. With Circular Glasgow’s programme of practical engagement tools, and with the ongoing support of Zero Waste Scotland, we aim to inspire organisations to embrace new business models helping them to design for the future.”

Circular Glasgow complements Zero Waste Scotland’s and the Scottish Government’s nationwide support for SMEs to develop circular economy business ideas, including its £18 million Circular Economy Investment Fund and Circular Economy Business Support Service. Both are supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73m Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland’s chief executive, said: “Circular Glasgow is an innovative approach to maximise circular opportunities on a large scale. This is about connecting businesses in Glasgow across sectors to find opportunities in materials once thought of as waste. Simply put, for businesses this can mean turning a cost into a possible revenue stream.

“Working together in innovative ways will set the foundations for a future where economic buoyancy is achieved through inclusive, sustainable growth. I’m delighted Glasgow is set to become a front-runner in these efforts and look forward to what’s to come.”

Whether an organisation has already started to implement circular strategies, or has just begun its transformation, the online Circle Assessments create a simple way to diagnose how current practices match up to circular objectives, while identifying new opportunities, at no cost to the business.

The team will also be hosting Circle Workshops across the year, focusing on specific industry sectors.

Interested businesses are invited to attend a Circular Glasgow information event on Wednesday December 6 to understand how they could benefit directly.  Register at

Melville delivers first RSL Zero Waste workshop

construction materialsWith ambitious Scotland-wide targets for house building and energy efficiency high on the national agenda, Melville Housing Association has taken a step towards a greener housing future by becoming the first Registered Social Landlord (RSL) to deliver a Zero Waste Scotland workshop for construction partners.

And with nearly 50,000 construction enterprises in Scotland, creating over four million tonnes of waste a year, Midlothian’s largest RSL has called on other landlords to follow its lead.

“Delivering good value for money is an important part of what we do as a business,” said Melville’s chief operating officer, Morag MacDonald. “And working with our contractors to help them improve their efficiency can only be good for us all in the longer term, bringing down costs, making businesses more competitive and helping the environment.”

Involving not only construction companies but also those that carry out external wall insulation, kitchen and bathroom replacements and general repairs, the workshop set out how companies can improve their bottom line by becoming more efficient, reducing the waste they produce and finding better ways to manage industry by-products.

“The session was excellent and went down very well with those who attended,” added Morag. “One contractor was so impressed that they’ve already signed for a more detailed Zero Waste Scotland review of their practises. I’d thoroughly recommend it to our colleagues across the housing sector.”

Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Scotland programme supports small and medium-sized enterprises across all parts of the industry to identify opportunities for reducing waste and saving money.

“The programme helps remove barriers across the construction process from design to site management with hands-on support, impartial assessment and access to funding,” said Paul Adderley, Resource Efficient Scotland technical advisor, who led the workshop.

Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “In Scotland, the construction sector is responsible for producing nearly half of the country’s waste. Through our engagement with the industry we know that many businesses share our vision of maximising resource efficiency, and keeping costly waste to a minimum.

“Many of the materials used in construction projects retain their value throughout their lifetime, so the opportunities to maximise the financial value of assets while also minimising environmental impact are huge. I would encourage any business in the construction supply chain to take part in a session like this one, or contact our Resource Efficient Scotland advice and support programme directly.”

Through its Resource Efficient Scotland programme, Zero Waste Scotland can support contractors through every stage of the construction process from planning and design to project sign off. The help and support they provide includes on-site evaluations, constructing a business case and accessing loans, training, workshops, and help with grants. Find out more at

Zero Waste Scotland’s advice and support for the construction sector, delivered through its Resource Efficient Scotland programme, is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £34 million Resource Efficiency (H&I and LUPS) operations.

EQ Accountants event to show how construction businesses can be rewarded for reducing waste

EQ Accountants LOGO

EQ Accountants in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland are hosting a business briefing to set out how firms can benefit from understanding the business case for resource efficiency.

Those attending the briefing will benefit from understanding the business case for resource efficiency, hearing successful case studies, discover the available funding and receive tailored support from the ZWS team.

The event, to be held on Friday 27th October, 8am – 10am, comes as construction businesses in Scotland are being offered free waste prevention support from Resource Efficient Scotland, a support programme delivered by Zero Waste Scotland to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) identify opportunities to reduce waste and save money through on-site support.

Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund with the aim to help Scotland reap the environmental, economic and social benefits of making best use of the world’s limited natural resources.

The construction sector is the largest consumer of resources, making up 50 per cent of Scotland’s total waste.

Support is available for all phases of the construction process, including planning and design, and is delivered through on-site support, employee training, online tools and workshops.

Funds of up to £100,000 are available to support the physical implementation of waste prevention measures in the construction and commercial and industrial sectors.

The funding can be used for purposes including purchasing bins, balers and shredders, improved signage, staff training or monitoring equipment.

To find out more information, or to attend the event, please email

Fife breakfast briefing to help construction SMEs access finance

Resource Efficient ScotlandResource Efficient Scotland is to host a breakfast briefing event in Fife next month which focuses on how SMEs can access grant funding and loans from Zero Waste Scotland of up to £100k.

Held in association with Fife Council and Green Business Fife, the event is a must for managers, directors and owners of Scottish SMEs who are responsible for business improvement, competitiveness and sustainability.

The free event takes on October 3 from 08:45 to 10:15 at Pitbauchlie House Hotel in Dunfermline.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Find out about the latest SME loans and grants, including interest-free loans of £1k-100k.
  • Unlock new savings opportunities and revive stalled projects.
  • Hear from businesses that have already accessed the funding to see how they did it and how they have benefited.
  • Discover the free Government-funded support for SMEs that makes it easy to take advantage of the available funding.
  • Network with other leading businesses.

Book your place to find out more and learn how access to funding for resource efficiency projects can make a big difference to your business.

Bookings can be made through Eventbrite.

New online guide to help reduce construction waste through design

construction materialsZero Waste Scotland has developed a new online guide on how material waste can be prevented through design in construction and refurbishment projects.

Published as part of a programme of support for the Scottish construction sector, the guide explains and demonstrates how circular economy design ideas can be applied throughout the design and construction phases of any project.

The guide is being launched at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre on March 3, 09:00 – 13:30.

To register for the event, please follow this link.

For more information feel free to contact Rob Snaith at or 01235 753 029.

Construction firms urged to take on waste challenge

construction waste stockConstruction businesses in Scotland are being encouraged to sign up for free waste prevention support from the Resource Efficient Scotland advice and support programme, delivered by Zero Waste Scotland.

The programme helps small and medium sized enterprises across all parts of the industry to identify opportunities to reduce waste and save money through onsite support.

With nearly 50,000 construction enterprises in Scotland and over 4 million tonnes of waste produced in 2014, the construction sector is the single largest waste producer in Scotland.

Becoming more resource efficient will not only be a differentiator when pitching for business, it will also be good for the bottom line. Increasingly those looking to procure construction projects are also demanding higher levels of waste and resource management performance to meet planning conditions, building standards and environmental assessment criteria.

Zero Waste Scotland’s head of resource efficiency, Marissa Lippiatt, said: “Construction is a crucial part of the Scottish economy, but we must acknowledge that it is by far the largest contributor to landfill tonnages too. Recycling performance has improved in the sector over the years but there is lots more work still to be done in preventing the waste from ever being created in the first place.

“For those getting involved in the programme it is a great way to show your commitment to change and we hope to share some positive examples of how Scottish businesses are leading the way in this sector over the coming months.”

Construction enterprises interested in joining the programme can find out more here. For all enquires call the helpline on 0808 808 2268 or email

Support is available for projects at all phases of the construction process including planning and design. Delivery will be supported through a range of services including tailored on-site support, employee training, web based tools and technical workshops.

A fund is also available to support the physical implementation of waste prevention measures in the construction and other (commercial & industrial) sectors.

The first of a series of free training workshops will be held on 14 February, hosted at Jacobs’ offices on Bothwell Street, Glasgow. Further workshops are scheduled for Edinburgh and Inverness in weeks commencing 27 February and 13 March respectively. Workshop places will be advertised on the Resource Efficient Scotland website.

The support for construction SMEs in Scotland will be delivered by environmental consultancy, Resource Futures, in partnership with engineering group, Jacobs, as part of the Resource Efficient Scotland advice and support programme, from Zero Waste Scotland.